Couples who share property and choose not to marry do not have the same legal rights when they split up as couples who do marry.

Partner A and Partner B lived together in a house which they owned jointly. They split up in 2013. Partner A sent an email to Partner B stating that she could keep the house and all its contents.

Then in 2017 Partner A changed his mind and demanded that the house be sold so that he could take his share of the equity.

The court held that Partner A did not have a claim and that his email was a satisfactory memorandum for the purposes of Section 53 of the Law of Property Act 1925. The court ordered the house to be transferred entirely to Partner B.

This is a salutary warning for unmarried couples who share property.

It pays to seek legal advice before you say anything in an email which you will later come to regret.